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Old 07-06-2010, 10:28 AM
 
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I had a friend whose wife wanted to buy a luxury car. She had her mind set on Mercedes. When he asked her to consider Lexus, BMW and Audi, she refused. It had to be Mercedes. Nothing else would do. So they eventually got an E-class sedan. I remember asking her about it. She couldn't tell me a thing beyond its color and that it was Mercedes. She had no idea what kind of engine it had, whether it was 4Matic or not, what the warranty was, what kind of ratings it got, or how much horsepower it had. I realize that a lot of car buyers are like this. They don't care about such details. They just focus on looks and price. But in this case, I suspect her only reason for wanting it was the Mercedes label.

I had another friend who once bought a BMW 3-series. When I asked him if he would've paid what he paid had the car been a Chrysler that looked and drove exactly like the BMW. He said, "of course not." In a lot of ways, it's like the people you see who walk around with Polo/Ralph Lauren shirts where it's just a plain shirt with the logo prominently displayed. Why wear the logo? Why not just stick the price tag there instead? As for the woman with the Mercedes, isn't it kind of sad that people will pay that much for a car and not have a clue about the car itself?
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:36 AM
 
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Why pick on cars?

"vanity" labels are on all types and classes of merchandise, and are the result of effective marketing and sales campaigns. Sometimes, the "image" is truly supported by real values of quality and reliability and other important factors to the purchaser.

As for your "woman with the Mercedes" ... very few people have a comprehensive knowledge of what they're buying in any product. They're buying the image and the reputation that the product will perform up to their expectations. If the product appeals to them and it's their dough, what does it matter to you?
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:40 AM
 
Location: The Milky Way Galaxy
2,256 posts, read 6,521,508 times
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Yup its all about image. I see it in NYC all the time with clothes and accessories especially with girls.
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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Conspicuous consumption...it's the American Way.
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:53 AM
 
8,519 posts, read 14,685,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
As for your "woman with the Mercedes" ... very few people have a comprehensive knowledge of what they're buying in any product. They're buying the image and the reputation that the product will perform up to their expectations. If the product appeals to them and it's their dough, what does it matter to you?
If people want to spend their money on something they don't know the first thing about, it makes no difference to me. I just think it's kind of sad. I'm no car expert, but if someone asked me why I bought the car I bought, I could come up a lot more than just the brand name. But to spend 50K on something and not be able to say anything about beyond its brand and color, that says a lot about the person. As an earlier poster pointed out, people do this with other products too, not just cars. Whether they do it for themselves or for the sake of image is another issue. But if you're someone paying that kind of money all for the sake of what total strangers will think, then it makes you wonder what you really think of yourself if you care what those people think.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:04 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
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This is nothing new. Just about all the women I know do this. They know absolutely nothing about the car except the brand name, the color and if they're smart they might know the model name.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,921 posts, read 4,455,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgt04 View Post
Yup its all about image. I see it in NYC all the time with clothes and accessories especially with girls.
Well, I bought a brand new Movado timepiece on a side street of NYC, cost me only $20.
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:05 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
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It works in the lower end, too. The Toyota Matrix and the Pontiac Vibe were identical cars mechanically, with a few differences in grille and trim. The Vibe actually was a bit better looking in my eye, but I would NEVER buy a car with a Pontiac badge on it! A used Vibe is worth less than a comparable Matrix. The same goes for the Toyota Corolla and the Geo/Chevy Prizm. They were the same car, but the Prizm is worth less.

To me, having a Toyota logo on the hood shows you're smart, and looking for the best value. A GM logo even on a virtually identical car means MUCH different things!
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:32 PM
 
8,519 posts, read 14,685,308 times
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Originally Posted by outafocus View Post
To me, having a Toyota logo on the hood shows you're smart, and looking for the best value. A GM logo even on a virtually identical car means MUCH different things!
Manufacturers know this too. That's why Hyundai has avoided putting their emblem on the Genesis and their upcoming Equus. How many people will pay 50K for a car with a Hyundai badge on it. But like Lexus in its early days, smart shoppers who recognize a good value will overlook that it's a Hyundai. Others, like the people this thread is about, will skip right past it no matter how good of a car it is. What they're really shopping for is bragging rights.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Cupertino, CA
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Hey, she could have done worse and picked up a Ford Excursion for trips to the mall because "it's cooler than a minivan".
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